CULVER CITY, Calif. - Beginning October 30th, the world will have a front-row seat for Michael Jackson's final concert, as Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment release Michael Jackson's This Is It.

This Is It is being produced with the full support of The Estate of Michael Jackson and will be drawn from hundreds of hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage, captured in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound as the late singer was preparing for his concert series in London. The film, which will also offer select sequences in 3-D, will provide a unique career retrospective and feature interviews with some of Jackson's closest friends and creative collaborators.

The announcement was made by Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of the studio, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, and Rob Stringer, Chairman of Columbia/Epic Label Group, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment. The companies serve as the principal entertainment divisions of Sony Corporation.

Joining Sony in the announcement was The Estate of Michael Jackson, administered by his longtime attorney John Branca and veteran music executive John McClain, a Jackson family friend for more than 40 years. Proceeds the Estate earns from the film's release will benefit the Michael Jackson Family Trust, the entity that Mr. Jackson specified in his will is to receive all of his assets.

The rights to the exclusive footage were acquired from AEG Live and The Estate of Michael Jackson. Sony Pictures and Sony Music will co-produce with AEG Live and the Estate, and Sony Pictures will distribute the film worldwide. Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware of AEG Live will serve as producers of the film.

The majority of the film's footage was shot in June, 2009 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, and The Forum in Inglewood, California, as Jackson prepared for "This Is It," the series of fifty concerts Jackson planned to present at the O2 Arena in London.

This Is It will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer, his career, and the stage spectacular that would have been. The film will provide moviegoers with an unforgettable front row experience compiled from extensive footage that shows Jackson's meticulous preparation for his 2009 London shows.

Said Branca, "Our goal is to work with partners who treat Michael's legacy with dignity and respect, while allowing us to substantially build the value of his estate for the benefit of Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael's three children and the charitable causes that meant so much to him during his life. We are confident we found the right partners for this project in Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment. Sony and Michael enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial history together, and it's only fitting that the relationship continues."

Said McClain, "This film is not only a tribute to an artist who created excitement every moment he was on stage, but also is a fitting gift to the millions of fans worldwide who loved him and who he devoted his professional life to entertaining. John and I are thrilled to be working with Sony to build on Michael's musical legacy in a way that will generate significant proceeds for his family and for children in need."

"People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson's performance," said Lynton. "This historic recording of the last time he sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound. We understand the importance of producing a film that pays tribute to Michael as an artist, and are honored to work with the Estate of Michael Jackson to give audiences the gift of his final performances. I know this film will serve as further proof that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers who ever graced a stage."

"Michael lives on through his songs, his creative genius, his body of work and his passion for his art," said Rob Stringer. "He was a perfectionist on stage and through this unique film, audiences will be able to see, many for the first time, how much Michael poured into making his performances as special as they were perfect."

Said Kenny Ortega, director of and Jackson's creative partner on the This Is It concert, "The world will see what our team was so fortunate to experience, which was the full commitment, passion and creativity that Michael put into this project. He was the architect of This Is It, and we were his builders. The footage that was captured from the early stages of the production to our technical rehearsals at the STAPLES Center in L.A. will show Michael as he truly was, creatively involved with every aspect of the production, from the staging and choreography, to the music, lighting, production design and conception of the original short films and video backdrops. It will also show Michael as one of the greatest entertainers in the world and one of the industry's most creative minds. This Is It was Michael's last theatrical work and although it was still a work in progress, I think the footage will show that the process was something that Michael deeply enjoyed and that it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph."

In the coming weeks, additional information about the film will be available here.

Peter Schlessel, President of Worldwide Affairs, negotiated for the footage on behalf of Sony Pictures. Branca represented The Estate of Michael Jackson.

Read more

CYPRESS, CA - Christie, a global leader in visual solutions for entertainment, business and industry, announced that cinema chain Emagine Entertainment Inc. selected Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projectors to equip the chain's new 10-screen theater in Woodhaven, Michigan. Voted the "Best in Michigan" by local cinema outlets, Emagine Theatres serve over two million moviegoers annually and are widely regarded as being at the forefront of technology, as well as among the finest in the markets they serve. Emagine Theatres was the first theater circuit in the country to convert all of its screens to digital projection, installing Christie DLP Cinema projectors exclusively.

"Among the prime reasons we selected Christie digital cinema projectors were that they deliver the best light output and have the best lamp efficiency," said David Zylstra, director of technology, Emagine Theatres. "Our decision was also based on previous experience with Christie CP2000 series projectors, which we have installed in all of our other Emagine locations. Christie projectors have proven to be reliable, cost-effective and to deliver the most consistent performance."

The new Emagine Woodhaven, with seating for 1,600, installed ten Christie CP2000-ZX digital cinema projectors with Christie Brilliant3D triple-flash technology. Christie Brilliant3D significantly increases image brightness and delivers a picture-perfect experience. Along with wall-to-wall screens, digital sound, high-backed rocking seats and 46-inch rows in all of its auditoriums, Emagine's three 3D screens use RealD 3D technology.

"Christie also offers the most comprehensive and economical on-going support available through Christie Managed Services," said Zylstra. "We get top-notch professional service, their customer service engineers work hard to get the job done as quickly as possible, minimizing downtime and their Network Operations Center personnel are always helpful, remotely fixing most issues quickly. From sales and service to product performance, Christie offers the best overall package on the market."

Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine, noted, "Woodhaven and the surrounding communities represent a highly underserved movie market. Our new theatre addresses that need with a spectacular product. We believe that during these challenging economic times, it is our responsibility to reach out and bring cheer to our guests who are impacted the most, and we do that by delivering ‘movie magic' to them. Leaving home to see a first-run film is deeply ingrained in our culture and is a wonderful family activity."

Emagine is participating in Cinedigm's (Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. NASDAQ: CIDM) Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program and is the first exhibitor to do so through self-financing. One of Cinedigm's first Phase 1 deployment program exhibitor partners, they have been utilizing Cinedigm's networked digital cinema systems and Christie digital projectors since late 2005.

Read more

TORONTO -- IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) today reported net income of $2.6 million, or $0.05 per diluted share for the second quarter ended June 30, 2009, compared to a net loss of $12.2 million, or $0.29 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2008. Total revenues increased 94% to $41.0 million, compared to total revenues of $21.2 million last year. The Company generated operating income of $6.5 million, a turnaround of over $14.0 million compared to an operating loss of $7.7 million in the year-ago period.

IMAX Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Gelfond stated, "We are very pleased with our second quarter financial results. The strategic and operational groundwork laid over the last two years came together in the second quarter and resulted in a significantly larger theatre network and strong film slate, which drove our return to profitability. While one quarter does not make a trend, we believe this quarter is an early indication of the benefits of our new business model and that the pieces are in place to continue to deliver revenue growth and profitability for fiscal 2009."

Included in the Company's second quarter 2009 financial results are several notable items, including a $3.4 million increase in share-based compensation expense primarily due to the Company's increased stock price over the course of the second quarter and its impact on variable stock-based compensation such as stock appreciation rights; $1.0 million in fees associated with the early termination of a service contract; a favorable foreign exchange translation adjustment of $2.5 million; and a one-time gain of $0.4 million due to the early retirement of debt. The net impact of these items was a $1.5 million reduction in net income, or approximately $0.03 per diluted share.

IMAX systems revenue increased 33% to $8.3 million versus $6.3 million in the prior year period. The Company installed and recognized revenue on five theatre systems, including two digital upgrades, that qualified as either sales or sales-type leases in the second quarter of 2009, compared to two theatre systems recognized in 2008.

Revenue from joint revenue sharing arrangements increased significantly to $7.2 million compared to $0.4 million last year. In the second quarter, the Company installed a total of 24 systems under joint revenue sharing arrangements, including two digital upgrades, compared to zero installations in the year ago period.

For the second quarter of 2009, total film revenue increased 145% to $16.1 million, compared to $6.6 million in the second quarter of 2008. This included significantly higher Production and IMAX DMR(r) revenues of $12.1 million compared to $2.5 million a year ago, reflecting both the success of the second quarter film slate and the Company's larger theatre network.

Mr. Gelfond continued, "DMR film revenue and our joint revenue sharing business combined to represent 47% of revenue in the second quarter. We showed a record four DMR titles in a single quarter which illustrates our ability to seize opportunities that digital projection brings. Our second quarter film slate was among the strongest we have had in a single quarter, and we continued to consistently drive box office results that far outpaced our percentage of screens, reflecting the consumer appetite for The IMAX Experience(r)."

Gross box office from DMR titles increased 346% to $84.2 million in the second quarter of 2009, compared to $18.9 million in the second quarter of 2008. Four DMR titles drove the Company's significant box office growth in the quarter. DreamWorks Animation SKG's Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience, generated $19.8 million in gross box office during the second quarter and a total of $26.5 million over the course of its run, for a per screen average of $129,000. Paramount Pictures' Star Trek: The IMAX Experience was released to the IMAX network on May 7 and generated $26.6 million in gross box office during the quarter, for a per screen average of $140,000. On May 22, Twentieth Century Fox's Night at The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: The IMAX Experience arrived in theatres and generated $15.5 million in gross box office, for a per screen average of approximately $79,000. In addition, the quarter reflected one week of Paramount Pictures' Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The IMAX Experience, which generated $21.9 million in gross box office during the second quarter and $43.3 million to date, for a global per screen average of $189,000 and a domestic per screen average of $195,500. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ranks as the third highest grossing DMR title in IMAX history, behind The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience and Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience.

Second quarter gross margin increased to $20.7 million, from $5.9 million in the year-ago period. Included in gross margin for the second quarter was $1.5 million of non-recurring launch costs associated with the 22 new theatres opened under joint revenue sharing arrangements during the quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expense as a percentage of revenue declined significantly to 29.9% as compared to 53.1% in the second quarter of last year. Overall, SG&A expenses increased to $12.3 million in the second quarter compared to $11.3 million a year ago. Reflected in second quarter SG&A expense was the previously mentioned net increase in share-based compensation, contract termination fees and favorable foreign exchange translation adjustment, as well as lower operating expenses resulting from the Company's cost-cutting initiatives. Research and development costs decreased to $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2009 as compared to $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2008. Last year's research and development expenses reflected the costs associated with the development of the Company's digital projection system that launched in July 2008.

At the end of the quarter, 102 digital systems were in operation, compared to zero as of June 30, 2008. The number of IMAX theatres in operation under joint revenue sharing arrangements also grew significantly, to 91 theaters, compared to 11 at the end of the year-ago period. Primarily reflecting an increased level of digital system upgrades, the Company now expects to install approximately 95 to 105 systems in 2009, including 25 to 30 sales and sales type lease systems and approximately 70 to 75 joint revenue sharing theatre systems. Included in the installation guidance are the 12 system upgrades which occurred in the first six months of the year. At this time, the Company expects to end the year with approximately 120 joint revenue sharing theaters in operation.

As of June 30, 2009, the Company's backlog consisted of 171 theatre systems compared to 246 theatre systems in backlog as of June 30, 2008. Included in the 2009 and 2008 system backlog totals were 67 and 139 theatres, respectively, under joint revenue sharing arrangements and 104 and 107 theatres, respectively, under sales and sales-type lease arrangements. During the quarter the Company signed contracts for seven new systems, all of which were under sales and sales-type lease arrangements, compared to six system signings during last year's second quarter, four of which were under joint revenue sharing arrangements. Since quarter-end the Company has signed contracts for another eight theatres, including a six theatre deal signed with Vie Show Cinemas in Taiwan, which was announced last week.

At the end of the second quarter, the Company's cash position was $49.0 million, compared to $27.0 million as of December 31, 2008. During the second quarter, the Company raised $76.3 million in net proceeds through a common stock offering of 11,270,000 common shares. A portion of the proceeds was used to repurchase $44.3 million aggregate principal amount of its 9.625% Senior Notes due December 2010 which resulted in a one-time gain of $0.4 million due to the early retirement of debt. Offsetting the Company's cash position were investments related to its joint revenue sharing digital projection systems, which amounted to approximately $5.7 million in the second quarter compared to $3.6 million a year ago. Subsequent to quarter-end, the Company repurchased an additional $6.0 million of aggregate principal amount of its 9.625% Senior Notes.

Turning to the remainder of the 2009 film slate, the two-week delayed domestic release of Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: An IMAX 3D Experience is currently in theatres, and has generated approximately $15.0 million in worldwide box office through Tuesday, August 4. Domestically, the film was widely distributed to IMAX theatres on July 29 and has generated approximately $6.3 million through Tuesday. On September 18, Sony Pictures and IMAX plan to release Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs: An IMAX 3D Experience day-and-date to IMAX theatres. On October 16, Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX will release Where the Wild Things Are: The IMAX Experience day-and-date purely to domestic IMAX theatres, which will then be followed by Disney's A Christmas Carol: An IMAX 3D Experience (Walt Disney Pictures and ImageMovers Digital, November 2009) and James Cameron's Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience (Twentieth Century Fox, December 2009). In total the Company will show a record 12 DMR titles in 2009.

The Company's announced 2010 film slate to date includes Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience, which is expected to carry over from its December 18, 2009 release, Disney's Alice in Wonderland: An IMAX 3D Experience (March 2010), DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience (March 2010) and Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience (May 2010), and an IMAX original film in partnership with Warner Brothers, currently titled Hubble 3D. The Company is in the process of finalizing its 2010 release slate and is in discussions regarding potential titles for release as far out as 2012.

Mr. Gelfond concluded, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The IMAX 3D Experience, is tracking in-line with our expectations and we are pleased to have finalized our 2009 film slate with Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are. With the compilation of our 2010 slate progressing very nicely, and given the smooth roll-out of our digital projection systems to date, we can focus on additional strategic priorities like the continued growth of the network and other business opportunities such as our multi-picture deal with Huayi Bros. in China. Our business model is beginning to generate tangible results, and we are optimistic about our ability to deliver growth over the long-term."

Read more

Meyer Sound has announced the newest member of the Cinema Experience line, the AcheronTM Studio, which brings the low distortion and transparency of the Acheron 80 screen channel loudspeaker to a smaller package. Designed for use behind a perforated screen or for direct monitoring, the THX-approved Acheron Studio is a perfect choice for small cinemas, post-production, and private theatres. Soundtracks monitored on the Acheron Studio translate accurately into larger cinema systems, making the loudspeaker an equally ideal fit for re-recording rooms, sound design rooms, and music studio control rooms.

"Today's cinema theatres range from a 6,000-seat theater to a 16-screen multiplex to a private screening room, but the important role that the soundtrack plays in the film experience remains the same in any venue," says John Meyer, co-founder and CEO of Meyer Sound. "With technology like the space-friendly Acheron Studio loudspeaker, we can reproduce the information in a soundtrack with a remarkable degree of resolution to match today's high-definition picture, meaning any punch and delicate nuance created in the sound design room or re-recording stage will be accurately delivered to the audience."

The Acheron Studio boasts an impressive power-to-size ratio, with a maximum peak level of 134 dB SPL at one meter. Designed to help maintain a full LCR screen perspective in all seats, the Acheron Studio uses the same horn technology (patent pending) developed for the Acheron 80, and has an extremely well behaved 80-degree horizontal by 50-degree vertical coverage pattern with a soft off-axis roll-off.

The horn in the Acheron Studio is fixed within the enclosure to ensure an accurate acoustic crossover, phase response, and an incredibly consistent vertical pattern between the low and high frequencies. Bass power comes from a new 15-inch low-frequency driver optimized for the compact enclosure. The 580 Hz crossover point places most of the dialog in the horn, making it an ideal choice for cinema applications. The self-powered Acheron Studio features a convection-cooled amplifier with an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of more than 100 dB to provide the extremely low noise floor required in a studio environment. In addition, it is a plug-and-play system and allows for easy setup and installation.

All components in the Acheron Studio are designed and manufactured at Meyer Sound's headquarters in Berkeley, Calif., where an Acheron Studio system is installed in the company's award-winning Pearson Theatre for movie playback. Meyer Sound Cinema Experience products are installed in Bay Area's Skywalker Sound, ImageMovers Digital, and American Zoetrope, as well as USC School of Cinematic Arts and Atkinson Hall at University of California, San Diego. For more information on the Acheron Studio and the entire Meyer Sound Cinema Experience product line, please send an email to cinema@meyersound.com, or click here.

Read more

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM) (formerly AccessIT), the leader in the digital cinema industry, today announced Emagine Entertainment, Inc. ("Emagine"), a Michigan-based cinema chain, will participate in Cinedigm's Phase 2 digital cinema deployment program and will be the first exhibitor to do so through self-financing. Emagine is one of Cinedigm's first Phase 1 deployment program exhibitor partners and has been utilizing their networked digital cinema systems since late 2005.

In Phase 2, Cinedigm will provide networked digital cinema systems, including Christie DLP Cinema projectors, to the ten screens at Emagine's new Woodhaven, Michigan location. Christie Managed Services will be providing the long-term service agreement for this theatre. Under this new agreement, Emagine will become a senior lender to Cinedigm's Phase 2 deployment subsidiary. Cinedigm's subsidiary will make regular payments to Emagine based on an agreed-upon schedule similar to those of other long-term lenders.

"We've had great success with Cinedigm's digital cinema systems. Their technology has enabled us to bring unique, cutting-edge programming to our customers. Events like the live 3-D showings of the BCS and NBA games help set Emagine apart from competitors and is the reason we want to expand our relationship with Cinedigm to our new location," said Paul Glantz, founder of Emagine. "We're pleased that Cinedigm has worked with us to create this self-financing option which enables us to invest further in a business that is revolutionizing the movie-going experience."

"Emagine is breaking new ground with us, creating an innovative financing template for Cinedigm's rollout. This trend of self-funding by theatre owners is important given the ongoing growth of the theatre industry and the current lack of financing from traditional channels. We are confident that with the help of partners like Emagine, our Phase 2 deployment will continue to progress as planned," said Bud Mayo, chairman and CEO of Cinedigm.

"Cinedigm is pleased that our first exhibitor from our Phase 1 deployment has engaged us for Phase 2. We have valued our relationship with Emagine over the years and look forward to adding their new location to the growing number of screens contracted to our Phase 2 program for up to 10,000 digital cinema projection systems," said Chuck Goldwater, president of Cinedigm's Media Services Group.

Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment program for Digital Cinema that provides the funding, installation support and administration for the company's studio-supported Digital Cinema rollout plans.

To date, Cinedigm has contracted for and completed the rollout of nearly 4,000 systems in forty-one states with exhibitors including Atlas Theatres, Allen Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Celebration! Cinema, Cinema West, Cinetopia, Dickinson Theatres, Emagine, Galaxy Cinema, Marquee Cinemas, Krikorian Premiere Theatres, MJR Theatres, Neighborhood Cinema Group, Premiere Cinema Corp., Rave Motion Picture Theatres, Showplace Cinemas, UltraStar, and Cinedigm's own Pavilion Digital Showcase Theatre.

Its Phase 2 plan for up to an additional 10,000 screens will provide networked, turnkey Digital Cinema systems in conformance with DCI specifications.

Read more

Subscribe to Articles Feed